Southern California Taiwanese Americans sending help to Taiwan – NBC Los Angeles

As Taiwan recovers from the destructive earthquake that killed at least nine people and injured more than 1,000, Taiwanese Americans in Southern California are rushing to send help to their homeland.

Several Taiwanese American groups In Los Angeles and Orange Counties held meetings Wednesday while maintaining constant communication with family, friends and Taiwanese government agencies to learn how they can help.

“I have over 100 friends living in Hualien,” said Jim Huang who said he heard from most of his friends and family members in his native country. 

But some of the photos sent by his friends showed damaged buildings with parts of columns crumbling.

According to Huang, his friends and family said the quake started small at first, then it rocked side to side followed by up-and-down movements. Huang was told the earthquake went on for more than a minute.

“Everyone was shocked and terrified about what happened, “Ken Wu, the secretary general of the Taiwan Center Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, said. 

Wu added phone calls have not stopped since Tuesday afternoon with countless Taiwanese American hoping to send help. 

“There’s nothing on their mind other than how to help our compatriots back home,” Wu described.

Southern California is home to more than 263,000 Taiwanese Americans. Many of them have family members in the Taiwanese capital city of Taipei, which is about 90 miles from Hualien, the quake’s center.

The latest quake was the biggest to strike Taiwan since 1999. After the 7.6-magnitude quake killed about 2,400 people, many of the buildings have been retrofitted.

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